Eye of the Beholder

Moss

Some people can point out the Taj Mahal in the marshmallow folds of cumulonimbus, or perhaps see Elvis circa 1979 etched in carbon on a piece of toast, whilst others will swear blind there is a two-headed gnu in the mashed potato.

This moss looks uncannily like a lamb.  Fact.

Six on Saturday – Dark Weeks

Back so soon?  Taking part in Six on Saturday is a splendid way to mark the passage of the darkest weeks, which I am making a concerted effort not to wish away. This wild beast is overseen by our very own lion tamer The Prop.  It works like this, he point an upturned chair at us, cracks a whip and we occasionally try to eat him.  Something like that anyway.  If you would like this confirmed, pop over to his blog and check out what is going on.

First we have a heart, suspended on our bijou cherry.  I would like to say that it was a gift from Tom Hardy, but that would be at best misleading.  In fact I bought this tiny terracotta tile for myself along with two other similars.  They hang on the cherry tree, which was grown from a pip and therefore unlikely to doing anything of much merit, to add ornament where there is none.

Geranium bohemicum

Next we have Geranium bohemicum which I grew from seed last year.  A few SoS’s ago I featured a geranium given to me by my college friend called ‘Blue Orchid’ . I have since discovered that it is actually called ‘Orchid Blue’ and is a cultivar of this very plant.   Both are flowering now, they look the same, you would have thought I could have worked it out before.

Galanthus 'Magnet'

Now onto Galanthus ‘Magnet’ a strong and upright chap, purchased last year when visiting Helen’s wonderful open garden at Little Ash.  Later I transferred it into a terracotta pot, so it wouldn’t get lost in the fray.  It has particularly long pedicel, the bit that attaches the flower to the rest of the plant, and therefore is noted for its fine bobbing.  In fact, as I write I can see it, bobbing away in the breeze.  Later there are gales forecast, I hope it doesn’t over-bob and lose its head.

Mummified apples

Then some mummified apples and associated damage, is it canker?  Perhaps.  This is one of two apple trees in our garden, and they have outgrown the space.  The jackdaws scoff the fruit before we can get to them and they aren’t all that special when we do.  I have attempted to keep them pruned to size but it is a case of wrong plant, wrong place.  Or is that a double negative and mean it is the right place?  Whatever, my saw twitches when I am close by.

Tibouchina urvilleana

Another hit for Teacher’s Pet Tibouchina urvilleana.  Although it keeps shrugging off the overcoat I so lovingly draped around its shoulders, it is still looking quite happy.  One leaf has turned.  And very beautifully too.

“Did you put a pottery horses head in one of the pots”  I asked OH.  “Yes” he replied.  “Thank goodness, I thought the ceramics mafioso had been calling”.

That is it, all done for another week.  Another day, another dollar!

Mystery

This little flower is blooming in a narrow border maintained by the local council, just around the corner from where I live.  It is a newly planted shrub, just two spindly twigs, and I first noticed it last week.  But what could it be?  It looks very much like a philadelphus, but flowering now?  Am I being dimmer than usual?  Any ideas anyone?

Rewind

The Bishop's Palace

It is time to indulge in a little healthy recollection.  Let me take you back to a sweltering June day.  I was visiting a good friend in Somerset and we had taken a trip to the Bishop’s Palace in Wells.  The gardens were bountiful, seemingly not suffering from the unfamiliar sultry weather.  From the herbaceous borders to the vegetable gardens all was lush and lovely.  There were enough other visitors to make it a sociable occasion but not too many to be intrusive.  The heat ensured meandering rather than rushing, enforcing a more leisurely tempo and therefore a more enjoyable journey.  Afterwards we rested at the edge of the wide rill, that fed from the spring to the moat, and dangled our appreciative feet in the cool water.  Perfect.

A Short Hike

My mind has been on overdrive.  Not bad thoughts, just a noisy constant irritating chatter that I can’t seem to tame.  I am having trouble getting to sleep and waking late with a headache.   This will not do.  Sleep is my specialist subject, I have never had trouble with it before.  The number one suspect is lack of exercise.  Although I have been trying to get out and about, going for short but leisurely walks, I fear these have not been enough.

This morning I did a little yoga, trying very hard to silence the nattering, with limited success.  Then after lunch I set off on my own, intent on striding up and around Hillsborough, the rugged hill between ourselves and the sea.  Both ancient hill fort and nature reserve, we are very lucky to have it almost literally on our doorstep.  It was chilly, with intermittent blusters of rain, but long before I had got to the top I rued wearing quite so many clothes.   Three quarters of an hour later I stepped back in the house, flushed and thirsty.  Good medicine.

Six on Saturday – Time Flies

anemone

Six on Saturday time again.  The weeks are passing quickly and soon I will be back at work.  I am half looking forward and to half dreading this.  I will be very unfit, I am little nervous I will hurt my foot, and it is bloomin’ cold out there!  But on the plus side I will see all my lovely clients again, watch spring arrive in their gardens and have the joy of helping them plan for the future.  I spent  one lovely day in my own garden this week, and I picked a good ‘un.  It was sunny and warm and the ground was easy.   Not a great deal was achieved, except a lot of pottering and pondering.  Perfect.  Now on to what I found during my rumagings.

Our first picture is of the emerging foliage of Anemone coronaria ‘Bordeaux’.  As I am “on the wagon” at the moment, this is the closest I am going to get to a bottle of red.  I planted them in  the pot where the Hedychium ‘Pradhani’ lurks, they will be long over by the time that exotic creature wakes.

euphorbia

Next we have a blushing Euphorbia amygdaloides var. robbiae, the wood spurge, looking like it is contemplating flowering.  This plant had a severe chop back last year after it was decimated by some strong winds.  Now it is a sturdy and strong specimen.  Rather like myself.  Admittedly I have never needed a chop back.  Next to it you can just about see the browning foliage of Salvia corrugata, which although a little tatty around the edges is still flowering.  Rather like …. you get the picture.

Miscanthus nepalensis

Now for Miscanthus nepalensis, whose golden tresses are now turning to silver.  It has done very well this year, for a young ‘un, and I am hopeful that next year it will be even better.

pyracantha

There is not a single fruit left on the pyracatha, stripped bare but for a couple of manky looking specimens.   As far as I am concerned this has negated its reason for existence, to me it just represents pain.  However, I am sure whoever has feasted on the succulent orange baubles will be looking forward to next year in anticipation.  It will therefore stay.

This was a hooray moment, pulling back the mat of dead monbretia foliage and finding these ruddy shoots below.  They belong to Paeonia mlokosewitschii, known to her friends as Molly the Witch.  She was a gift a few years ago and has yet to flower.  This year, it surely will be this year.  Someone has been having a bit of a nibble, hopefully I have now deterred them.

Lastly we have Pelargonium cordifolium var. rubrocinctum with friend and associated poo.   The caterpillar is so perfect in its Kawasaki greenness, and the matching heart-shaped leaves with tiny scarlet pin heads at the end of each tooth equally as wonderful.   We could do without the poo in the picture, but that is nature for you.  And yes, I let the caterpillar alone.  And yes, I realise that soon all will not be perfect.

Thanks for hosting this shindig to the caller of the dance The Propagator, long may he rule!

 

 

Pond

pond

What was to be done on this wet and miserable day?   Why not head off to the woods?  Hero, OH and myself went to visit Rambling Ron.  Although we had heard tales of Ron’s few acres of woodland on the edge of the village, none of us had ever visited.  Rumours of a newly dug pond heralded a self-invite.  As arranged he was waiting in the road to direct us up the rough lane to the entrance of his land.  “I didn’t think you were going to come” he said.  “We are not fair weathers” we replied.   We wandered along the grassy way, fern flanked, cautiously made our way down a slippery slope, stepping over mossy fallen trees to the virgin pond.   It is fed by a spring that flows from a rocky outcrop higher in the wood.   Native planting has begun around the margins, there is more planned.  “Wildlife will come” we said, “It has already” he replied pointing out a deer print at the edge of the pond.  If we have a hot summer Ron may well find some other wildlife in this large pond.  Myself and Hero have already been planning our wild swimming forays.

Naturally we had packed provisions for our road trip.  We stood at the head of the lane supping warm tea and coffee and scoffing stollen, all the while listening to tales of these woods.  Promising to come again when the bluebells begin flowering, we headed home to warm up with home-made broccoli and stilton soup, buttered sourdough bread for dunking.

This pathway caught my eye and my imagination.  Next time, hopefully a little more sure on my feet, I will find out what lies beyond the fallen tree arch.